The danger in marrying first cousins is known throughout the medical field, and reason why it’s banned in the West. Birth defects in children is reason enough to forbid the practice, but this is about Islam, where rage and intimidation and control defines the debate, not facts, so don’t expect the practice to end soon. KGS
‘Bradford is very inbred’: Muslim outrage as professor warns first-cousin marriages increase risk of birth defects
By TOM KELLY
Professor Steve Jones, from University College London, said the common practice in Islamic communities for cousins to marry each other increased the risk of birth defects
Inbreeding among British Muslims is threatening the health of their children, a leading geneticist warned yesterday.
Professor Steve Jones, from University College London, said the common practice in Islamic communities for cousins to marry each other increased the risk of birth defects.
‘There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful,’ he told an audience at the Hay Festival.
‘We should be concerned about that as there can be a lot of hidden genetic damage. Children are much more likely to get two copies of a damaged gene.
‘Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.’
Studies have shown that 55 per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins – and in Bradford, this rises to 75 per cent.